As graduation approaches it is time to start thinking about your career
Do you really know what is the best career for you after graduation? If not, don’t worry, it’s common enough for your age, you are not the only one.
Don’t panic, but do assess the important factors you need to consider when choosing the right career. What would you enjoy? What would suit your particular personality? What career would align with your values and beliefs? What career would you be good at?
There are a wealth of career options and opportunities and they can seem overwhelming, but career decisions need to be made.
What career is right for you?
This is the biggest question facing you. Think about what you value in your career.
- Helping others?
- Following your passion
- Life/work balance?
- Flexibility and freedom over what you do?
Understanding what motivates you will help you assess the best career options for you.
What are your career strengths and weaknesses?
Recognising what you are good at, and equally what you not good at, is a key factor in deciding on the best career path for you. You have to be honest with yourself. If you are not sure, get independent careers advice using psychometrics to help you. Don’t bank on friends or family who don’t know the options and who may even have their own agenda in mind rather than your best interests! This is where using a professional careers advisor is an advantage. Using modern psychological tools – career profiling instruments such as career tests and speaking to a qualified and experienced career counselor – will help you to understand your skills, motivations and personality, and get a much clearer idea of what is the right career for you.
What do you really enjoy?
No-one can stand a career they don’t enjoy. You need to think about what you have enjoyed studying and the hobbies you have practiced when you were a student as well as any work, voluntary or paid, that you have done.
Where possible, find time to trial various career roles to see which you enjoy best. Getting work experience in diverse businesses can really open your eyes to the career possibilities. Perhaps you think you want a career in media for instance, but do you really understand the realities of that career path- that route may well not suit your style of work. It’s important to get a feel for the career and the industry before you commit yourself and put your career plan in place.
Build up your career CV
When you have got to the point of understanding a bit more about yourself and what career you want to do, you need to refine your self-marketing skills to make an impact at interviews. In order to gain experience, speak to people in the industry who are knowledgeable so that you can really get a feel for the specific career.
It will confirm your career path (or alternatively demonstrate to you that this is not the correct career for you before you go too far down that road!), but in any event, these experiences strengthen your CV giving you an advantage in careers you might apply for.
This also applies to activities outside your career. So, when you’re in between work and studies, utilise your time productively to show to your future employers that you have drive and personality. You should consider joining a community group, volunteering or working on a blog or website.
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